- "A Devastator's reach shall be without limit and his touch without mercy. Fire shall roar from his fingertips, but it shall consume him not. Thunder will roar when he calls, yet it will swallow him not. Let the Devastator squad be thy blazing wrath, bringing the light of the Emperor's justice to the darkest corners of the battlefield. Wherever he stands, that shall be his fortress of righteousness. He shall hold in his gift the fate of all who pass before his unblinking gaze. All shall fear him, and he shall fear no one."
- — Roboute Guilliman, from the Apocrypha of Skaros
Devastator Marines are Space Marines who serve in a Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter's Devastator Squads. A Devastator Squad consists of a Sergeant and up to nine Battle-Brothers, of whom four of which are designated as Heavy Weapons Support. Their Sergeant will be a Space Marine who has received extra training to equip him for his leadership role. Devastator Sergeants are also experts with all types of Space Marine Heavy Weapons, although they prefer to fight with the standard Sergeant's weapons of a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword, or other melee weapon. Their expertise means that a Sergeant can get the maximum tactical advantage from the weaponry he has at his disposal. Space Marines rely on the tactical acumen of individual Sergeants to avoid the need for complex command structures and communications networks.
The Space Marines in a Chapter's fire support squads have a vital role, for they provide covering fire to their battleline and close support brethren. This could be in the form of assassination of prime targets, counter-battery volleys, or the destruction of enemy armour. By their target selection, marksmanship, and the timely application of firepower are countless battles won. As primarily long-range support units, Devastators provide their comrades with covering fire whilst also engaging enemy vehicles and other armoured foes.
Devastator Squads best define a Space Marine task force's reach, for they promise destruction with greater range than any of their Battle-Brothers. Unlike most other Space Marine squads, Devastators operate from a largely static footing, abandoning fixed positions only to advance, fall back or occupy a position with more commanding arcs of fire.
The ten Battle-Brothers of a Devastator Squad fall into two groups. The first of these are the Heavy Weapons troopers. There may be as many as four Heavy Weapons troopers in a Devastator Squad, and these Marines can be armed with Heavy Bolters, Missile Launchers, Lascannons, Multi-Meltas, Plasma Cannons or Grav-Cannons. These awesome weapons provide the squad with a host of potential deployments and tactical uses. Invariably, Devastator Squads are most commonly used to counter enemy armour or to penetrate defence points, and also to provide fire support for infantry advances or pin the enemy down with suppressive fire.
The other group contains Astartes new to the position of a full Battle-Brother. Upon promotion into a Devastator Squad, a Space Marine is initially issued with the standard Bolter and grenades with which he will grow ever more skilled throughout his service. His primary functions are to provide close-fire support, call out targets and generally act as backup for the more experienced Battle-Brothers who carry the squad's heavy weapons. Only when the Space Marine has proven himself a steady and dependable warrior, able to hold a true aim and steady nerve in the black heart of battle, is he entrusted with a heavy weapon from the Chapter's arsenal.
Most Space Marine Chapters equip their Devastators with a mixture of heavy weaponry, as favoured by the Codex Astartes. This allows even a single Devastator Squad to better deal with any emergent threats and excel at several battlefield roles by the simple expedient of splitting into anti-tank and anti-infantry combat squads. Even so, a few Space Marine Chapters have refined the role of their Devastator Squads, taking to the field solely with anti-tank or anti-infantry weapons to suit a recurring foe or engagement type.
Some of the Battle-Brothers in a Devastator Squad may have fought enough battles to earn Veteran status. These Marines may continue to serve with the Squad for a short time, but eventually they will be offered special duties elsewhere (such as in a Command Squad), or promoted to serve in the Chapter's elite 1st Company, which is comprised of Marines with Veteran status. In this way, the ranks of the Chapter's elite company are replenished. Veteran Battle-Brothers wear white helmets, while Veteran Sergeants wear a white-striped red helmet. Following their tour of duty as Devastators, Space Marines typically join the ranks of the Assault Marines.
Devastator Squads have access to more types of Heavy Weapons than most other Space Marine Squad types. In addition to Heavy Bolters, Lascannons and Missile Launchers, Devastator Marines can also field more exotic weapons such as Multi-Meltas and Plasma Cannons. The latter weapon fires balls of superheated plasma that explode on impact, making them exceptionally potent against multiple targets. The Multi-Melta is a short-range anti-tank weapon, its thermal blast able to melt through even the toughest armour. Missile Launchers wielded by Devastator Marines can fire two different kinds of missiles. Frag Missiles provide effective fire against enemy infantry, while Krak Missiles are more useful against armoured targets. Both of these missiles are relatively small, and a Devastator Marine can easily carry sufficient numbers of both types to take full advantage of a Missile Launcher's potential dual tactical use in a battle.
May select one of the following for a dedicated transport:
Devastator Marine Wargear
- Power Armour
- Bolt Pistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Signum (Sergeant or Veteran Sergeant only)
- Armourium Cherub (Cybernetic Familiar used for reload of ammunition)
- 4 Space Marines may take Heavy Weapons (Including: Astartes Grenade Launcher, Auto-Weapon, Cerberus Launcher, Conversion Beamer, Cyclone Missile Launcher, Demolisher Cannon, Flamer Weapon, Grav-Weapon, Heavy Bolter, Las Weapon, Melta Weapon, Missile Launcher, Plasma Weapon, Skyhammer Missile Launcher, Skyspear Missile Launcher, Sniper Rifle and Thunderfire Cannon)
- 1 Armorium Cherub
Optional Wargear, Sergeants Only
- 1 item from Melee Weapons (Including: (Includes: Chainfist, Chainsword, Force Weapon, Lightning Claws, Power Fist, Power Weapon, Relic Blade and Thunder Hammer)
- And/or from Ranged Weapons (Including: Astartes Grenade Launcher, Auto-Weapon, Bolter, Cerberus Launcher, Combi-Weapon, Conversion Beamer, Cyclone Missile Launcher, Demolisher Cannon, Flamer Weapon, Grav-Weapon, Las Weapon, Melta Weapon, Missile Launcher, Plasma Weapon, Skyhammer Missile Launcher, Skyspear Missile Launcher, Sniper Rifle and Thunderfire Cannon)
- Melta Bombs
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 76, 78, 172
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition), pp. 26, 95
- Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), pp. 25, 86
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition), pp. 361-362
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 61, 142
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 38
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pp. 28, 92
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 76-78
- Insignium Astartes, pp. 22-23
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 394